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“Not such a hidden gem...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Eli's BBQ

Eli's BBQ
Ranked #5 of 1,892 Restaurants in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Dining on a budget, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
97 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Not such a hidden gem...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Great BBQ in a relaxed laid-back environment. Haven't found anything on the menu I have not liked after multiple visits. Don't go if you're expecting to be served hand and foot -- go if you expect great food. BYOB as they do not serve but that jsut allows you to bring your favorite choice with you.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank SethCincinnati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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553 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    378
    135
    29
    5
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Parma, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good BBQ overall OK”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We were passing through Cincinnati traveling from Kentucky to Cleveland, and saw Eli's as the #6 restaurant in the city so my husband and I stopped. There was definitely good in this place, but unfortunately to a traveler looking to grab a quick bite to eat this place was NOT the best option.

The Good: The pulled pork sandwich was amazing- topped with their signature BBQ sauce and cole slaw... AWESOME. The sides were decent too, but nothing to RAVE about. The decor and "feel" of the place makes you feel like in you're on an Alabama back road getting some good ole BBQ. The backyard is full of picnic tables to eat outside too. Loved the casual atmosphere.

The Bad: The place is small (there is nothing wrong with that), but it seemed as though the staff was confused on their roles- making the line in the place longer than it needed to be. The cashiers took the orders, but they were also running the orders back to the kitchen, running food out to tables and cleaning tables. (I have worked in the service industry for YEARS, and know that roles are very important to keeping a smooth and streamlined house.) Some of the staff looked ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE TOO! Smile! This made for a VERY slow order line. I was totally ok with the process of ordering in line and heading out to the back to sit on picnic tables, and waiting for our name to be called indicating that our order was ready, but our food took over 40 minutes to come out. We didn't order anything fancy- seriously just a pulled pork sandwich and several sides.

Conclusion: This place obviously is very loved by the city of Cincinnati, and I hate that I had a less than excellent experience. I really wanted to love this place, but the service really put a damper on how excellent their BBQ is.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TamaraLLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Food, not so great service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013 via mobile

The food was excellent. Top of the line BBQ and a great old style atmosphere. Only been once, but the service was horrible. I was the only in the restaraunt at the time and was completely ignored by the waitress for 10 minutes, who was too busy doing paperwork and hanging signs next to me to take an order. Finally had to go to the takeout line, which is in a completely separate room to order. Ended up just getting it to go. I'm not a big complainer. It could have just been N off day. I was there a few minutes after they opened .

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jnchowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Oh My!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

I've eaten barbeque all over the country and really appreciate the good stuff. Man oh man, this is the real deal and in a perfect setting. The pulled pork sandwich is the featured item, and it is one of the best I've had anywhere. Rib ends were superb. I'm not much of a sides guy, but my mouth is watering remembering the beans, jalapeño cheese grits, and slaw. Wow! Can't wait for my next visit. Very friendly service with reasonable prices.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Golfer88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cold Spring, Kentucky
Level Contributor
109 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“AMAZING!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

I quite like pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ sauce, they are two of my favorite things and up until about a month ago, I had no idea that Eli's even existed but since my first time there, it's all I can think about. The food is absolutely perfect, tastes amazing, the sides are to die for, the price is reasonable and the atmosphere is very relaxed and casual. I love that you can bring your own beer in! I would definitely continue to come here, if I had it my way, I'd be back at least once a week. It's just THAT good.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Katy2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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